Brad Marchand’s third period effort spurred the Boston Bruins to a, 3-2, win over the Vancouver Canucks Sunday night at TD Garden.
Marchand tallied a goal and an assist on the game-winning goal in the third period as Linus Ullmark (5-3-0, 2.76 goals-against average, .914 save percentage in eight games played) turned aside 36 out of 38 shots faced in the victory for Boston.
Vancouver netminder, Jaroslav Halak (0-4-1, 2.85 goals-against average, .910 save percentage in six games played), made 39 saves on 42 shots against in the loss.
The Bruins improved to 11-7-0 (22 points) on the season and remain in 5th place in the Atlantic Division– one point behind the Detroit Red Wings for 4th– while the Canucks fell to 6-14-2 (14 points) overall and stuck in 8th place in the Pacific Division.
Prior to the ongoing pandemic, Vancouver beat Boston, 9-3, at Rogers Arena on Feb. 22, 2020.
Trent Frederic returned to the lineup for Boston after missing the last seven games with an upper body injury, while Ullmark returned to the crease after missing a scheduled start in Buffalo on Nov. 24th when he tweaked something at morning skate ahead of Boston’s, 5-1, win against the Sabres.
Bruins head coach, Bruce Cassidy, made a few changes to his lines coming off of a, 5-2, loss to the New York Rangers on Friday– inserting Frederic at center on the third line with Nick Foligno and Karson Kuhlman on his wings, for starters.
Kuhlman returned to the lineup after serving as a healthy scratch for the last four games.
Craig Smith was promoted back to his regular role on the second line at right wing, while Tomáš Nosek was relegated to the fourth line center slot with Frederic returning to the lineup and Erik Haula joining Jake DeBrusk and Connor Clifton as Sunday’s scratches.
Sunday night marked the first time this season that Haula and DeBrusk were scratched.
Jakub Zboril kicked things off with an interference infraction at 1:50 of the first period, yielding the night’s first power play to Vancouver.
Late in the ensuing skater advantage, the Canucks took advantage of a mishap in the crease when Ullmark and nearest defender, Mike Reilly, miscommunicated on a puck that bounced off of the Bruins goaltender and ended up in prime real estate in front of Tanner Pearson.
Pearson (3) poked the loose puck over the goal line from point blank and gave Vancouver a, 1-0, lead at 3:33 of the first period.
Brock Boeser (5) and Nils Höglander (5) had the assists on Pearson’s power-play goal as the Canucks took an early lead and momentum that was ultimately cut short about two minutes later.
Anton Blidh (1) skated into Boston’s attacking zone and wired a shot past Halak’s glove side from afar– about two strides into the zone from the blue line in the high point, that is.
Blidh’s unassisted effort tied the game, 1-1, at 5:51.
Minutes later, Conor Garland was penalized for holding the stick and presented the Bruins with their first chance on the power play at 10:14, but the B’s weren’t able to capitalize on the skater advantage.
Late in the period, Nosek caught Tyler Motte with a high stick and was assessed a minor infraction as a result at 15:44.
Vancouver entered the zone while on the ensuing power play and Garland ripped a shot from along the boards past Ullmark’s glove on the short side, but Cassidy used a coach’s challenge on the grounds that he and the Bruins’ video crew believed the Canucks were offside prior to the goal.
Video replay revealed that Höglander was, in fact, over the blue line with both skates prior to the puck entering the attacking zone, rendering Garland’s would be goal useless and reversing the call on the ice.
The score remained tied, 1-1, heading into the first intermission, while the Bruins led in shots on goal, 11-10.
Boston held the advantage in blocked shots (5-1) and hits (8-4), while the Canucks led in takeaways (2-1), giveaways (4-1) and faceoff win percentage (56-44).
Vancouver was 1/2 on the power play, while the B’s were 0/1 on the skater advantage heading into the middle frame.
Nosek thought he put the Bruins ahead within about a minute of action in the second period, but the call on the ice was “no goal” and upheld after a quick official review confirmed that– while Nosek’s initial kick of the puck to his stick blade was fine, his subsequent kick while falling that resulted in the rubber biscuit finding the twine was no good.
Minutes later, Marchand slashed Garland and was sent to the box at 6:54 of the second period.
Vancouver wasn’t able to capitalize on the resulting skater advantage, however.
Midway through the period, Garland (6) got the goal that he was looking for earlier in the night when he sent a shot with eyes through Jason Dickinson’s legs and Ullmark’s five-hole while Dickinson screened the Boston netminder.
Garland’s goal was unassisted and gave the Canucks a, 2-1, lead at 12:31 of the second period.
And so, 2-1, it remained as Vancouver led on the scoreboard through 40 minutes of action and in shots on goal, 27-24, including a, 17-13, advantage in the second period alone.
The Canucks dominated in takeaways (3-1), giveaways (8-3) and faceoff win% (52-48), while the Bruins led in blocked shots (11-8) and hits (17-13).
Vancouver went 1/3 on the power play, while Boston remained 0/1 on the skater advantage heading into the second intermission.
Matt Grzelcyk caught Höglander with a quick hook and cut a rut to the penalty box as a result at 3:51 of the third period as a result, but Vancouver couldn’t muster anything on the scoreboard.
Höglander, himself, was the next player off to the sin bin after he tripped Foligno at 7:21 of the third period.
This time the Bruins found the back of the net on the power play after Ullmark stoned Motte on a shorthanded breakaway at the other end.
David Pastrnak sent a shot attempt off the post where the puck pinballed around in the ensuing chaos off of Patrice Bergeron before settling outside the slot while a mass of bodies gathered in front of Halak.
Marchand (9) scooped up the puck and buried it to tie the game, 2-2, with a power-play goal at 8:45 of the third period.
Foligno (4) and Bergeron (9) notched the assists on Marchand’s goal as the Bruins surged to life.
Chances were traded at both ends when Oliver Ekman-Larsson raced Blidh into the corner and promptly boarded the Boston skater, resulting in a minor penalty that Garland ended up serving while Ekman-Larsson had to tend to an errant skate blade that popped out from the force of the collision with Blidh at 15:23.
Once more, it didn’t take the Bruins long to convert on the ensuing power play.
Marchand thread a pass through the slot to Pastrnak (7) for the redirection goal while crashing the net to give Boston their first lead of the night, 3-2, at 16:36 of the third period.
Marchand (15) and Bergeron (10) tallied the assists on Pastrnak’s power-play goal and the Bruins had their first lead of the night.
With their goaltender pulled and a stoppage in play with 46 seconds left on the clock, Canucks head coach, Travis Green, used his timeout to rally his skaters, but it was to no avail.
Though the Bruins didn’t end up scoring an empty net goal– despite Marchand’s best efforts to give Bergeron an easy lay-up, Bergeron had entered the zone offside to negate an insurance goal after Green challenged the call on the ice– the final horn sounded without issue.
Boston had won, 3-2, and finished the night leading in shots on goal, 42-38, including an, 18-11, advantage in shots on net in the third period alone.
The Bruins finished the night leading in blocked shots (12-11), hits (28-18) and faceoff win% (51-49), while Vancouver exited the building with the advantage in giveaways (10-3).
The Canucks finished Sunday night’s effort 1/4 on the power play, while Boston went 2/3 on the skater advantage.
The B’s improved to 4-3-0 (3-1-0 at home) when allowing the game’s first goal, 1-4-0 (1-2-0 at home) when tied after the first period and 2-4-0 (2-1-0 at home) when trailing after two periods this season.
Vancouver fell to 2-4-0 (1-4-0 on the road) when scoring first, 2-6-0 (1-4-0 on the road) when tied after one period and 4-1-0 (2-1-0 on the road) when leading after two periods in 2021-22.
The Bruins wrap up their three-game homestand against the Detroit Red Wings to close out the month of November on Tuesday.
Boston begins the month of December with a one-off road game at Bridgestone Arena against the Nashville Predators on Thursday (Dec. 2nd) before returning home to host the Tampa Bay Lightning for a game next Saturday (Dec. 4th).
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